Monday, December 17, 2012

12 Nativity Focused Christmas Picture Books

The season of Christmas is right around the corner. Beginning on Christmas Day, the Feast Day of the Nativity, it continues for 12 Days - that's right 12 days after Christmas Day, not before. Reading + books being such an important part of our family, I figured it was fitting to share a dozen of our favorite Nativity books. It's not too late to look for these at your library or bookstore either. 

I think one of the perks of celebrating the True 12 Days of Christmas is taking advantage of post Christmas Day sales to add to our book collection. Plus the library seems to get every Holiday book back on the shelves right after Christmas. Yay simple perks!

 Each of these stories is focused on the Christ Child and Nativity rather than wintery goodness, Santa Claus, and all that bit. I think those type of stories also have their place, but in this collection, you'll find unique tales celebrating the birth of our Savior, with a variety of approaches and a delightful display of art. Enjoy!

Song of the Stars: A Christmas Story
by Sally Lloyd-Jones + illustrated by Alison Jay

A lovely new discovery this year, this book tells the nativity story from the perspective of all the earth rejoicing in the coming of its King. It's such a different twist on the traditional story, and the art by Alison Jay is endearing as well. My boys are getting this for Christmas day as the last of the books they get to open.

by Frank McCourt + illustrated by Raul Colon

From the prize winning author of Angela's Ashes comes this Christmas tale of his mother. 6 year old Angela sees the Baby Jesus lying in the manger scene at her church and thinking he must be cold, decides to take matters into her own hands.

by Karma Wilson + illustrated by Jane Chapman

Mortimer, a small mouse, has been searching and searching for a home of his own. He finally finds one filled with strange "statues." After displacing them, he hears the Nativity story for the first time and realizes who he's moved out.

by Barbara Helen Berger

A ordinary donkey has a dream of the miraculous wonder he carries on his back. This story brings to small children the beautiful imagery and symbols tied to the Virgin Mary. It's a great starting point for further discovery yet simple enough to be shared with young listeners.

by Ezra Jack Keats

Delightful art to accompany the traditional song. We have the board book version of this one, and it's been a fantastic book for the really little ones.

by Joseph Slate + illustrated by Ashley Wolff

A very simple approach of the animals preparing the stable for the birth of the Christ child. This is another great one for really little ones.

by Susan Wojciechowski + illustrated by P.J. Lynch

A tale of a grumpy old woodcarver won over by the love and care of a widow and her 7 year old son. The town has judged this woodcarver to be a Scrooge-like character; the widow requests a custom creche, and her son asks to be allowed to watch. A sweet story of a man transformed because of a little kindness.

by Margery Facklam + illustrated by Nancy Carpenter

This version tells of how nature decorated for the first Christmas. There could be a little more focus on the Christ Child and his importance, I think, but it's still a lovely addition to the Christmas bookshelf.

by Norma Farber + illustrated by Petra Mathers

This is a collection of poetry telling the memories of meeting Jesus from the perspective of different animals as well as a few people. While I enjoy the animal's tales, I would say be forewarned about the people as one adds a tale about 3 Queens, which could be very confusing for small ones. We chose to skip that poem and joy the earlier ones included.

by Tomie dePaola

I love learning new tales and legends, and this was my favorite for this year. This book tells the tale of a little girl from a town in Mexico. Her mother is supposed to weave a new blanket for the baby Jesus for the annual Christmas procession. However, she falls ill, and the little girl is worried she will have no gift to present. She is reminded by an old lady what truly makes a gift beautiful.

by Dandi Daley Mackall + illustrated by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher

Silent night? Not so much. This book explores all the sounds that surrounded the night Christ was born.  From the owl to the flutter of angel's wings, this adaptation tells of the joy surrounding the preparations for this miraculous.

by Pamela Dalton

This book is primarily here for the art. Beautiful cut-paper illustrations, done in the manner of the Pennsylvania-German parts of this country in the 1800s, couple with passages directly from the Bible. The art takes on an almost medieval look with the colored cut outs displayed against dark backgrounds. It's a beautiful book to be enjoyed by all ages.

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This post 12 Nativity Focused Christmas Picture Books first appeared on Two Os Plus More on 17 December 2012

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